Marine Regulations - The Fisherman

Marine Regulations

Fishing rules and regulations seem to change with the tide these days, and they vary greatly from state to state. That’s why The Fisherman posts the current size and bag limits, seasons and licensing information covering all your favorite local species. Before heading out, check here for a state-by-state breakdown of current restrictions to ensure you’ll be in compliance no matter how, when or where you fish.

 

CONNECTICUT

American Eel: 9″ minimum size, 25/angler, no closed season.
Atlantic Menhaden (Bunker): Minimum length: None, *Daily creel limit: 50 fish per angler or 5 gallons (whichever is the greater amount), Open Season: Open Year Round
Black Sea Bass: May 19 – December 31, 5-fish bag limit, 15-inch minimum.
For-Hire “Bonus” September 1 – December 31, 7-fish bag limit, 15-inch minimum.

Bluefish: No closed season or size limit; 3-fish bag limit private boat/shore-bound; 5-fish bag limit onboard for-hire boats.
Cod: 22″ minimum size, 10/angler, no closed season
NOTE: Anglers aboard federally permitted party or charter vessels may possess any number of Atlantic cod, consistent with federal rules.

Haddock: 18″ minimum size, no daily creel limit, no closed season
Hickory Shad & American Shad: No size limit, 6/angler (both species aggregate,) no closed season
***American Shad: all state waters closed except the Connecticut River

Pollock: 19″ minimum size, no daily creel limit, no closed season
Scup / Porgy: January 1 – December 31, 30 fish per angler, 9-inch minimum.For-Hire Bonus Season: September 1 – October 31, 50-fish bag limit, 9-inch minimum.
Striped Bass: No closed season, 1 fish, 28 – less than 35 inches.
Summer Flounder/Fluke: May 4 to September 30, inclusive, Minimum Size: 19 inches, 4-fish bag limit.
Tautog / Blackfish: April 1 – April 30 and July 1 – August 31, 2-fish bag limit. October 10 – November 28, inclusive, 3-fish bag limit. 16-inch minimum length.
Weakfish: 16″ minimum size, 1/angler, no closed season
White Perch: 7″ minimum size, 30/angler, no closed season
Winter Flounder: 12″ minimum size, 2/angler, April 1 – December 31

Get Connecticut Fishing License 

 

DELAWARE

Black Sea Bass: 12-1/2 inches, open 5/15-12/31 (15 fish).
Bluefish: No minimum size, 3/angler private, 5/angler aboard for-hire trips. No closed season
Croaker: 8″ minimum size, no creel limit, no closed season
Porgy: 8″ minimum size, 50/angler, no closed season
Red Drum: 20-27″ slot size, 5/angler, no closed season
Scup (Porgy): 8″ minimum size, 50/angler, no closed season
Spanish Mackerel: 14″ minimum size, 10/angler, no closed season
Spotted Seatrout: 12″ minimum size, No creel limit, no closed season
Striped Bass: One fish, 28 to 35 inches, except in Delaware Bay, River and its tributaries from 7/1-8/31 during which time angler limit is one fish from 20 to 25 inches during ‘summer slot’ season. No harvest permitted from spawning grounds from 4/1-5/31.
Summer Flounder: 16-1/2″ minimum size, 4/angler, No Closed Season 
Tautog: 16-inch minimum, 4 fish from 1/1-5/15 & 7/1-12/31
Weakfish: 13″ minimum size, 1/angler, no closed season

Get Delaware Fishing License 

 

MARYLAND

Black Sea Bass:  May 15-Dec.31 12.5 inches 15 fish
Bluefish: 8″ minimum size, 10/angler, no closed season
Croaker: 9″ minimum size, limit 25/angler, no closed season
Flounder: Four fish at 16-1/2 inches per person/day.
Herring: Moritorium
Red Drum: 18″ – 27″ slot limit, 1/angler, no closed season
Spanish Mackerel: 14″ minimum size, 15/angler, no closed season
Striped Bass: The Maryland DNR has set the 2020 spring striped bass season to ban the catch and release season on the Susquehanna Flats. The Trophy Season will begin on May 1 with a one-fish bag limit and a 35-inch size limit.  New coastal regulations TBD as of March 1, 2020. 
Tautog: January 1–May 15, 4 fish/person/day; July 1–October 31, 2 fish/person/day; and November 1–December 31, 4 fish/person/day.
Weakfish: 13″ minimum size, 1/angler, no closed season
White Perch: No minimum size, no creel limit, no closed season
Yellow Perch: 9″ minimum size, 10 per day per person, no closed season

Get Maryland Fishing License

 

MASSACHUSETTS

American Shad: Merrimack & Connecticut Rivers: January 1 – December 31, no minimum length, 3-fish bag limit.All Other Waters: Catch and release only, YEAR-ROUND.
Black Sea Bass: May 18 – September 8, 5-fish bag limit, 15-inch minimum.
Bluefish:No closed season or size limit; 3-fish bag limit private boat/shore-bound; 5-fish bag limit onboard for-hire boats.
Cod: NORTH OF CAPE COD – Private Angler: September 15 – 30, 1-fish bag limit, 21-inch minimum length.
SOUTH OF CAPE COD – Private Angler: no closed season, 10-fish bag limit, 21-inch minimum length.

Haddock: NORTH OF CAPE COD – April 15 – April 30, May 1 – February 29, 15-fish fish, 17-inch minimum.
SOUTH OF CAPE COD – no closed season, no bag limit, 18-inch minimum.

Halibut: 41″ minimum size, 1/angler, no closed season
Pollock: No minimum size, no creel limit, no closed season
Scup / Porgy:  Private vessel/shore: January 1 – December 31, 30-fish bag limit, 9-inch minimum, 150 fish/vessel limit with 5 or more anglers.
For-Hire Bonus: May 1 – June 30, 50-fish bag limit, 9-inch minimum.Smelt: No minimum size, 50/angler, June 16 – March 14
Striped Bass: No closed season, 1 fish, 28 – less than 35 inches. Circle hooks required when using bait except when attached to a lure such as a tube & worm rig or when fishing onboard for-hire boats.
Summer Flounder/Fluke: May 23 – October 9, 17-inch minimum, 5-fish bag limit.
Tautog / Blackfish: April 1 – May 31, 3-fish bag limit; June 1 – July 31, 1-fish bag limit; August 1 – October 14, 3-fish bag limit; October 15 – December 31, 5-fish bag limit; 16-inch minimum length.
Maximum per vessel possession limit is 10 fish regardless of number of anglers onboard.

Weakfish: 16″ minimum size, 1/angler, no closed season
White Perch: 8″ minimum size, 25/angler, no closed season
Winter Flounder: NORTH OF CAPE COD – no closed season, 8 fish, 12-inch minimum.
SOUTH & EAST OF CAPE COD – no closed season, 2 fish, 12-inch minimum.

Yellowtail Flounder: 13″ minimum size, no creel limit, no closed season

Massachusetts Fishing License 

 

NEW JERSEY

Black Drum: 16″ minimum size, 3/angler, no closed season 
Black Sea Bass: 12-1/2” minimum open 5/15-6/22 (10 fish); 12-1/2” minimum open 7/1-8/31 (2 fish); 12-1/2” minimum open 10/8-10/31 (10 fish); 13″ minimum open 11/1-12/31 (15 fish)
Blue Crab: 3″ minimum size for peeler/shedder 3-1/2″ for for soft shell 4-1/2″ hard shell Limit one bushel
Bluefish: No minimum size, 3/angler private, 5/angler aboard for-hire trips.  No closed season
Cobia: 40″ minimum size, 1/angler, no more than 3 per vessel.  June 1 to September 30.  
Cod & Haddock: 21″ minimum size, no creel limit, no closed season
NOTE: Anglers aboard federally permitted party or charter vessels may possess any number of Atlantic cod, consistent with federal rules.

King Mackerel: 23″ minimum size, 3/angler, no closed season
Pollock: 19″ minimum size, no creel limit, no closed season
Porgy: 9″minimum size, 50/angler, no closed season
Red Drum: 18″-27″ slot size, 1/angler, no closed season
Spanish Mackerel: 14″ minimum size, 10/angler, no closed season
Striped Bass: Starting 4/1/20, one fish from 28 inches to less than 38 inches. No closed season 0-3 miles from shore; Delaware River from Trenton to Salem River open 3/1-3/31 and from 6/1-12/31; all other marine waters open 3/1-12/31 except beyond 3 miles which is closed year-round. For Striped Bass Bonus Program go to www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/bonusbas.htm
Summer Flounder: (Set to be approved by NJDEP for 2020) 18′” minimum size, 3/angler, May 22 – Sept 19 (17” minimum size, 3/angler west of COLREGS on Delaware Bay; 16” minimum size, 2/angler at IBSP)
Tautog: 15″ minimum size,January 1 – February 28 (4 fish), April 1 – April 30 (4 fish), Aug 1 – Nov. 15 (1 fish)  and November 16- December 31 (5 fish) 
Weakfish: 13″ minimum size, 1/angler, no closed season
Winter Flounder: 12″ minimum size, 2/angler, Mar. 1- Dec 31

Get New Jersey Fishing License 

 

NEW YORK

American Shad: Moratorium
Atlantic Sturgeon:Moratorium
Black Sea Bass: 15″ minimum size; 3/angler, June 23 – Aug 31; 7/angler, Sept 1 – Dec 31. 
Blue Crab: Minimum shell width (spike to spike tip) 4.5″” hard shell, 3-1/2″ soft shell, 3″ peeler/shedder, 50 creel limit, no closed season; All other crab species: no minimum size, 50 creel limit, no closed season
Bluefish:No minimum size, 3 fish bag limit for recreational / 5 fish for anglers on for-hire boats, no closed season
Cod:Cod: 22″ minimum size, 10/angler, no closed season;
NOTE: Anglers aboard federally permitted party or charter vessels may possess any number of Atlantic cod, consistent with federal rules.

Fluke (Summer Flounder): 19 ” minimum size, 4/angler, May 4 – September 30
Haddock:18″ minimum size, no creel limit, no closed season
Hickory Shad: No minimum size, 5/angler, no closed season
Monkfish (goosefish): 17″ minimum size(11″ tail length,) no creel limit, no closed season
Oyster Toadfish: 10″ minimum size, 3/angler, no closed season
Pollock:19″ minimum size, no creel limit, no closed season
Porgy (Scup): 9″ minimum size, open all year, 30/angler, charter and open boat bag limit expands to 50/angler from September 1 – October 31.
Red Drum: No minimum size, 27″ maximum size, no creel limit, no closed season
Spanish Mackerel: 14″ minimum size, 15/angler, no closed season
Striped Bass:Marine: 28 to 35 inch slot, 1 fish per person, April 15 – December 15
Hudson River north of George Washington Bridge: 1 fish per person 18 to 28 inches, April 1 – November 30

Tautog (Blackfish): 16″ minimum size
LI Sound: April 1-30, 2 fish / October 11 – December 9, 3 fish
NY Bight: April 1-30, 2 fish / October 15 – December 22, 4 fish

Weakfish:16″ minimum size (10″ filleted/12″ dressed,) 1/angler, no closed season
Winter Flounder: 12″ minimum size, 2/angler, April 1 – May 30
Yellowtail Flounder:13″ minimum size, no creel limit, no closed season

Get NY State Fishing License 

 

RHODE ISLAND

Black Sea Bass: June 24 – August 31, 3-fish bag limit, 15-inch minimum.September 1 – December 31, 7-fish bag limit, 15-inch minimum.
Blue Crab: Minimum shell width (spike to spike tip,) 5″ hard shell, 3-1/2″ soft shell, no creel limit, May 1 – November 30
Bluefish:  No closed season or size limit; 3-fish bag limit private boat/shore-bound; 5-fish bag limit onboard for-hire boats.
Cod: No closed season, 21-inch minimum, 10 fish per person.
Haddock: 19″ minimum size, no creel limit, no closed season
Pollock: 19″ minimum size, no creel limit, no closed season
Scup / Porgy: 9-inch minimum length. January 1 – December 31, 30-fish bag limit.

Party boat/for-hire bonus: September 1 -October 31, 50-fish bag limit.
Striped Bass: No closed season, 1 fish, 28 – less than 35 inches.
Summer Flounder/Fluke: May 1 – December 31, 19-inch minimum, 6-fish bag limit.
Tautog / Blackfish: April 1 – May 31, 3-fish bag limit; August 1 – October 14, 3-fish bag limit; October 15 – December 31, 5-fish bag limit; 16-inch minimum length.
Maximum per vessel possession limit is 10 fish regardless of number of anglers onboard.

Weakfish: March 1 – December 31, 16-inch minimum, 1 fish per person.
Winter Flounder (Blackback): No closed season, 12-inch minimum, 2 fish per person. See website for restricted waters.
Yellowtail Flounder: 13″ minimum size, no creel limit, no closed season

Get Rhode Island Fishing License